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22 June 2005
Seattle scientists study Kennewick Man

     The Burke Museum in Seattle, Washington (USA) will be the site where the 9,400 year old skeleton known as the Kennewick Man will be studied in July 2005.
     Found along the banks of the Columbia River in 1996, Kennewick Man has been the center of a 9-year court battle involving everyone from the Federal Government, eager scientists wanting to study him, and the Mid-Columbian Native American Tribes, who are claiming Kennewick Man as their ancestor. However, the study could be completely haulted if the Tribes ask for a stay, which, so far, they have not.  But a Bill proposed by US Republican Senator John McCain from Arizona (USA), may change the wording of the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriotion Act, which would recognise the Tribes' demands for the return of the remains, even without a specific tribal link to any modern Tribe. The Bill will not be approved in time to affect this Summer's studies.
     Scientists are planning to access the skeletal remain's changes since the last study was conducted. They will catalog and reconstruct the entire skeleton by putting it in anatomical order and by doing so, hope to also reconstruct what happened to Kennewick Man from the time he died until now.
     A CAT SCAN of Kennewick Man's skull and hip bone (with an arrowhead embedded in it) will be performed and from that image, an accurate replica of the skull will be created at The Smithsonian in Washington, D.C. (USA), eliminating the need for researchers having to handle the original but still insuring accurate measurments. One replica will remain with The Smithsonian, the other will be sent to The Burke Museum. The replica's will resemble the original as closely as possible.
     Scientists wish to do further study on Kennewick Man's teeth, hand and foot bones. These Scientists are also concerned that if the bones are returned to the Tribes, they will no longer be available for research and study now nor in the future of new technologies.

Source: www.tri-cityhearld.com(20 June 05)  

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